'National Wear Your Pajamas To Work Day’ Should Have Never Been A Thing
"The way you dress has an impact on the impression you make on others ..."
Of all the things one could wear to work, wearing your pajamas is by far the most inappropriate thing one could wear, especially nowadays. Oh, but if you want to encourage off-color jokes, questionable behavior, sexual harassment and even more discriminatory behavior, go right ahead and rock with it.
The workplace is a place that should be focused on accomplishing the mission outlined by the organization. Beyond that, it's a place where one’s professional reputation is shaped. The way you dress has an impact on the impression you make on others, and there are countless reasons why you should want to deliver continuously positive impressions at work and maintain a good reputation.
Whether you like it or not, what you wear communicates something about you. In fact, it is a form of communication. The human mind immediately interprets anything within it’s purview. So, when you walk into work in the morning, your wardrobe is going to leave some impression in the minds of those you encounter. Wearing pajamas to work leaves open a huge possibility for you to send the wrong message effortlessly. Strive to communicate your core competencies, positive personality traits and your overall value most relevant to your profession. That is what is most important in the workplace. Not every bit of one’s skin needs to be covered at work necessarily, but the more exposure of the naked body or elimination of the formality of clothing, the further away one can get from the task one is being compensated to perform. There is even scientific proof that clothing can affect work performance.
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If that isn’t reason enough to abandon the idea of wearing PJs to work, consider the fact that your visual appearance lingers in the minds of those you encounter as the most convenient reference to who you are and your personal characteristics. What vision do you want to leave with your colleagues, customers, those who evaluate your performance and others you engage within the professional setting? With the exception of a few occupations, I’m sure you don’t want people to remember you by what you wear to bed.
Further, in the age of the #MeToo Movement, allowing pajamas in the workplace creates an environment supportive of the sexualized behavior the movement is fighting to destroy. The movement offers well-rounded resources which includes advocacy for survivors and prevention of misuse of power within the workplace. So naturally, it is very appropriate to have dialogue in the workplace about sexual violence and abuse. However, these conversations shouldn’t take place in pajamas, ever.
As a former tax attorney, I understand the original intention of National Pajamas Day is to relieve the stress from having had to file income tax returns the day before (on April 15), and there is a related need to decompress from that stress. That intention, has merit, but the answer is not to alter the standard of professionalism in the workplace. Surely, there are thousands of better responses.